Republic of the Congo( Africa )

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Upon independence in 1960, the former French region of Middle Congo became the Republic of the Congo. A quarter century of experimentation with Marxism was abandoned in 1990 and a democratically elected government took office in 1992. A brief civil war in 1997 restored former Marxist President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso, and ushered in a period of ethnic and political unrest. Southern-based rebel groups agreed to a final peace accord in March 2003, but the calm is tenuous and refugees continue to present a humanitarian crisis. The Republic of Congo is one of Africa's largest petroleum producers, but with declining production it will need new offshore oil finds to sustain its oil earnings over the long term.
Central Africa, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Angola and Gabon
Geographic coordinates:
1 00 S, 15 00 E
total: 342,000 sq km
land: 341,500 sq km
water: 500 sq km
Area comparative:
slightly smaller than Montana
Land boundaries:
total: 5,008 km
border countries: Angola 231 km, Cameroon 494 km, Central African Republic 487 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,229 km, Gabon 2,567 km
169 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 200 nm
tropical; rainy season (March to June); dry season (June to October); persistent high temperatures and humidity; particularly enervating climate astride the Equator
coastal plain, southern basin, central plateau, northern basin
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Berongou 903 m
Natural resources:
petroleum, timber, potash, lead, zinc, uranium, copper, phosphates, gold, magnesium, natural gas, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 1.46%
permanent crops: 0.18%
other: 98.36% (2011)
Irrigated land:
20 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
832 cu km (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic or industrial or agricultural):
total: 0.05 cu km/yr (69%/26%/4%)
per capita: 13.99 cu m/yr (2005)
Natural hazards:
seasonal flooding
Environment current issues:
air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from the dumping of raw sewage; tap water is not potable; deforestation
Environment international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography note:
about 70% of the population lives in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, or along the railroad between them
People and Society
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups:
Kongo 48%, Sangha 20%, M'Bochi 12%, Teke 17%, Europeans and other 3%
French (official), Lingala and Monokutuba (lingua franca trade languages), many local languages and dialects (of which Kikongo is the most widespread)
Roman Catholic 33.1%, Awakening Churches/Christian Revival 22.3%, Protestant 19.9%, Salutiste 2.2%, Muslim 1.6%, Kimbanguiste 1.5%, other 8.1%, none 11.3% (2010 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2014 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 41.1% (male 966,852/female 950,411)
15-24 years: 17.7% (male 411,263/female 413,594)
25-54 years: 34.2% (male 808,181/female 787,554)
55-64 years: 4% (male 90,795/female 94,837)
65 years and over: 2.7% (male 60,400/female 78,559) (2014 est.)
Dependency ratios:
total dependency ratio: 85 %
youth dependency ratio: 78.7 %
elderly dependency ratio: 6.3 %
potential support ratio: 16 (2014 est.)
Median age:
total: 19.8 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20 years (2014 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.94% (2014 est.)
Birth rate:
36.59 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Death rate:
10.17 deaths/1,000 population (2014 est.)
Net migration rate:
-7.02 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2014 est.)
urban population: 63.7% of total population (2011)
rate of urbanization: 2.84% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major urban areas population:
BRAZZAVILLE (capital) 1.611 million; Pointe-Noire 834,000 (2011)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2014 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 59.34 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 64.49 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 54.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2014 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
560 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 58.52 years
male: 57.38 years
female: 59.7 years (2014 est.)
Total fertility rate:
4.73 children born/woman (2014 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate:
44.7% (2011/12)
Health expenditures:
2.5% of GDP (2011)
Physicians density:
0.1 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
Hospital bed density:
1.6 beds/1,000 population (2005)
Drinking water source:
improved: urban: 95.7% of population
rural: 38.8% of population
total: 75.3% of population
unimproved: urban: 4.3% of population
rural: 61.2% of population
total: 24.7% of population (2012 est.)
Sanitation facility access:
improved: urban: 19.6% of population
rural: 5.6% of population
total: 14.6% of population
unimproved: urban: 80.4% of population
rural: 94.4% of population
total: 85.4% of population (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS adult prevalence rate:
2.8% (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS people living with HIV or AIDS:
74,500 (2012 est.)
HIV or AIDS deaths:
5,200 (2012 est.)
Obesity adult prevalence rate:
4.7% (2008)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
11.8% (2005)
Education expenditures:
6.2% of GDP (2010)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 83.8%
male: 89.6%
female: 78.4% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2012)
Child labor children ages 5-14:
total number: 252,171
percentage: 25 % (2005 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)
local long form: Republique du Congo
local short form: none
former: Middle Congo, Congo/Brazzaville, Congo
Government type:
name: Brazzaville
geographic coordinates: 4 15 S, 15 17 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
12 departments (departments, singular - department); Bouenza, Brazzaville, Cuvette, Cuvette-Ouest, Kouilou, Lekoumou, Likouala, Niari, Plateaux, Pointe-Noire, Pool, Sangha
15 August 1960 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 15 August (1960)
previous 1992; latest approved by referendum 20 January 2002 (2002)
Legal system:
mixed legal system of French civil law and customary law
International law organization participation:
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997, following the civil war in which he toppled elected president Pascal LISSOUBA); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Denis SASSOU-Nguesso (since 25 October 1997); note - the position of prime minister was abolished in September 2009
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 12 July 2009 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: Denis SASSOU-Nguesso reelected president; percent of vote - Denis SASSOU-Nguesso 78.6%, Joseph Kignoumbi Kia MBOUNGOU 7.5%, Nicephore Fylla de SAINT-EUDES 7%, other 6.9%
Legislative branch:
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (72 seats; members elected by indirect vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (139 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 5 August 2008 (next to be held in July 2014); National Assembly - last held on 15 July and 5 August 2012 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - RMP 33, FDU 23, UPADS 2, independents 7, other 7; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PCT (and allies) 117, UPADS 7, independents 12, vacant 3
Judicial branch:
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Cour Supreme (consists of NA judges)
note - the High Court of Justice, outside the judicial authority, tries cases involving treason by the president of the republic
judge selection and term of office: judges elected by parliament and serve until retirement age
subordinate courts: courts of appeal; regional and district courts; employment tribunals; juvenile courts
Political parties and leaders:
Action Movement for Renewal or MAR
Congolese Labour Party or PCT
Congolese Movement for Democracy and Integral Development or MCDDI [Michel MAMPOUYA]
Movement for Solidarity and Development or MSD
Pan-African Union for Social Development or UPADS [Martin MBERI]
Rally for Democracy and the Republic or RDR [Raymond Damasge NGOLLO]
Rally for Democracy and Social Progress or RDPS [Jean-Pierre Thystere TCHICAYA, president]
Rally of the Presidential Majority or RMP
Union for Democracy and Republic or UDR
United Democratic Forces or FDU [Sebastian EBAO]
many smaller parties
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Congolese Trade Union Congress or CSC
General Union of Congolese Pupils and Students or UGEEC
Revolutionary Union of Congolese Women or URFC
Union of Congolese Socialist Youth or UJSC
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Serge MOMBOULI (since 31 July 2001)
chancery: 1720 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 726-5500
FAX: [1] (202) 726-1860
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Stephanie S. Sullivan (since 12 August 2013)
embassy: 70-83 Section D, Maya-Maya Boulevard, Brazzaville;
mailing address: B.P. 1015, Brazzaville
telephone: [242] 06 612-200
Flag description:
divided diagonally from the lower hoist side by a yellow band; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is red; green symbolizes agriculture and forests, yellow the friendship and nobility of the people, red is unexplained but has been associated with the struggle for independence
note: uses the popular Pan-African colors of Ethiopia
National symbol(s):
lion; elephant
National anthem:
name: "La Congolaise" (The Congolese)
lyrics/music: Jacques TONDRA and Georges KIBANGHI/Jean ROYER and Joseph SPADILIERE
note: originally adopted 1959, restored 1991
Economy overview:
The economy is a mixture of subsistence hunting and agriculture, an industrial sector based largely on oil and support services, and government spending. Oil has supplanted forestry as the mainstay of the economy, providing a major share of government revenues and exports. Natural gas is increasingly being converted to electricity rather than being flared, greatly improving energy prospects. New mining projects, particularly iron ore, that entered production in late 2013 may add as much as $1 billion to annual government revenue. Economic reform efforts have been undertaken with the support of international organizations, notably the World Bank and the IMF, including recently concluded Article IV consultations. The current administration faces difficult economic challenges of stimulating recovery and reducing poverty. The drop in oil prices during the global crisis reduced oil revenue by about 30%, but the subsequent recovery of oil prices boosted the economy's GDP from 2009-13. Officially the country became a net external creditor as of 2011, with external debt representing only about 16% of GDP and debt servicing less than 3% of government revenue.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$20.26 billion (2013 est.)
$19.15 billion (2012 est.)
$18.44 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$14.25 billion (2013 est.)
GDP real growth rate:
5.8% (2013 est.)
3.8% (2012 est.)
3.4% (2011 est.)
GDP per capita (PPP):
$4,800 (2013 est.)
$4,700 (2012 est.)
$4,600 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
Gross national saving:
61.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
56.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
61.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
GDP composition, by end use:
household consumption: 24.8%
government consumption: 11.1%
investment in fixed capital: 55.4%
investment in inventories: 0.9%
exports of goods and services: 91.8%
imports of goods and services: -84.1%
(2013 est.)
GDP composition, by sector of origin:
agriculture: 3.3%
industry: 73.9%
services: 22.9% (2013 est.)
Agriculture products:
cassava (manioc, tapioca), sugar, rice, corn, peanuts, vegetables, coffee, cocoa; forest products
petroleum extraction, cement, lumber, brewing, sugar, palm oil, soap, flour, cigarettes
Industrial production growth rate:
2% (2013 est.)
Labor force:
2.89 million (2011 est.)
Labor force by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
53% (2012 est.)
Population below poverty line:
46.5% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 37.1% (2005)
Distribution of family income Gini index:
revenues: $6.608 billion
expenditures: $4.618 billion (2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
46.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus or deficit:
Public debt:
32.1% of GDP (2013 est.)
31.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
1.7% (2013 est.)
3.9% (2012 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
4.25% (31 December 2009)
4.75% (31 December 2008)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
14.8% (31 December 2013 est.)
14.8% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$4.678 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.403 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$5.119 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$4.795 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$-1.053 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$-1.448 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Current account balance:
$638.2 million (2013 est.)
$187.9 million (2012 est.)
$9.912 billion (2013 est.)
$10.53 billion (2012 est.)
Exports commodities:
petroleum, lumber, plywood, sugar, cocoa, coffee, diamonds
Exports partners:
China 39%, US 13%, France 9.5%, Australia 8.8%, Netherlands 6.8%, Spain 5.3%, India 5.2% (2012)
$4.297 billion (2013 est.)
$4.45 billion (2012 est.)
Imports commodities:
capital equipment, construction materials, foodstuffs
Imports partners:
France 19.5%, China 13.5%, Brazil 9.1%, US 6.1%, India 5.8%, Italy 4.8%, Belgium 4.4% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$5.239 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$5.568 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Debt external:
$3.274 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.999 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment abroad:
Exchange rates:
Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
500.7 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)
495.28 (2010 est.)
472.19 (2009)
447.81 (2008)
Electricity production:
559 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity consumption:
588 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity imports:
495 million kWh (2010 est.)
Electricity installed generating capacity:
559,000 kW (2012 est.)
Electricity from fossil fuels:
51.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from hydroelectric plants:
48.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Crude oil production:
291,900 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Crude oil exports:
290,000 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil imports:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Crude oil proved reserves:
1.6 billion bbl (1 January 2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products production:
13,820 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products consumption:
10,710 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products exports:
4,288 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Refined petroleum products imports:
4,156 bbl/day (2010 est.)
Natural gas production:
946 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas consumption:
930 million cu m (2010 est.)
Natural gas exports:
39 million cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas imports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas proved reserves:
90.61 billion cu m (1 January 2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
6.858 million Mt (2011 est.)
Telephones mobile cellular:
4.283 million (2012)
Telephone system:
general assessment: primary network consists of microwave radio relay and coaxial cable with services barely adequate for government use; key exchanges are in Brazzaville, Pointe-Noire, and Loubomo; intercity lines frequently out of order
domestic: fixed-line infrastructure inadequate providing less than 1 connection per 100 persons; in the absence of an adequate fixed line infrastructure, mobile-cellular subscribership has surged to 90 per 100 persons
international: country code - 242; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)
Telephones main lines in use:
14,900 (2012)
Broadcast media:
1 state-owned TV and 3 state-owned radio stations; several privately owned TV and radio stations; satellite TV service is available; rebroadcasts of several international broadcasters are available (2007)
Internet country code:
Internet users:
245,200 (2009)
Internet hosts:
45 (2012)
27 (2013)
Airports with paved runways:
total: 8
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
Airports with unpaved runways:
total: 19
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
gas 232 km; liquid petroleum gas 4 km; oil 982 km (2013)
total: 886 km
narrow gauge: 886 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
total: 17,289 km
paved: 864 km
unpaved: 16,425 km (2004)
Merchant marine:
registered in other countries: 1 (Democratic Republic of the Congo 1) (2010)
Ports and terminals:
major seaport(s): Pointe-Noire
river port(s): Brazzaville (Congo); Impfondo (Oubangi); Ouesso (Sangha); Oyo (Alima)
oil/gas terminal(s): Djeno
Military branches:
Congolese Armed Forces (Forces Armees Congolaises, FAC): Army (Armee de Terre), Navy, Congolese Air Force (Armee de l'Air Congolaise); Gendarmerie; Special Presidential Security Guard (GSSP) (2013)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; women can serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 928,664
females age 16-49: 914,265 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 577,944
females age 16-49: 566,587 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 50,000
female: 49,641 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
Transnational Issues
Disputes international:
the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Democratic Republic of the Congo is undefined except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 31,936 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 8,496 (Rwanda) (2013); 16,750 (Central African Republic) (2014)
IDPs: 7,800 (multiple civil wars since 1992) (2009)
Trafficking in persons: